January 14, 2010

Drake Equation explains lack of aliens and girlfriends..

Filed under: Internet, Math — Jonathan @ 11:04 am

The Drake Equation is used to estimate the number of highly evolved civilizations that might exist in our galaxy.  Warwick University’s Peter Backus applies the Drake equation to discover why, exactly, he can’t find a girlfriend. The results are not encouraging. The probability of finding love in the UK is only about 100 times better than the probability of finding intelligent life in our galaxy.

“So,
 what
 this
 means
 is
 that
 there
 are
 10,510
 people
 in
 the
 UK
 that
 satisfy
 these
 most
 basic
 criteria
 for
 being
 my
 girlfriend.
 That
 is
 0.00017%
 of
 the
 UK
 and
 0.0014%
 of
 Londoners,
 which
 doesn’t
 seem
 so
 bad.
 On
 a
 given
 night
 in
 London,
 there
 is
 greater
 than
 a
 1
 in
 1000
 chance
 that
 I
 will
 meet
 an
 attractive
 woman
 between
 the
 ages
 of
 24
 and
 34
 with
 a
 university
 degree.
 Of
 course
 this
 does
 not
 take
 into
 account
 the
 fraction
 of
 these
 women
 that
 will
 find
 me
 attractive
 (depressingly
 low),
 the
 fraction
 of
 these
 women
 who
 will
 be
 single
 (falling
 with
 age)
 and,
 perhaps
 most
 importantly,
 the
 fraction
 of
 these
 women
 who
 I
 will
 get
 along
 with.
 Including
 such
 factors
 would
 greatly
 reduce
 the
 above
 figure
 of
 10,510.
 A
 rough
 estimate
 puts
 the
 number
 of
 potential
 girlfriends
 accounting
 for
 these
 three
 additional
 criteria
 (1
 in
 20
 of
 the
 women
 find
 me
 attractive,
 half
 are
 single
 and
 I
 get
 along
 with
 1
 in
 10)
 at

 26.

 That’s
 correct.
 There
 are
 26
 women
 in

 London
 with
 whom
 I
 might
 have
 a
 wonderful
 relationship.

 So,
 on
 a
 given
 night
 out
 in
 London
 there
 is
 a
 0.0000034%
 chance
 of
 meeting
 one
 of
 these
 special
 people,
 about
 100
 times
 better
 than
 finding
 an
 alien
 civilization
 we
 can
 communicate
 with.
 That’s
 a
 1
 in
 285,000
 chance.
 Not
 great.”

More info + all the math: link

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January 8, 2010

Google confirms 1 as the loneliest number

Filed under: Internet, Math, misc. — Jonathan @ 2:38 pm

What was once assumed by many has now been confirmed by the great minds over at Google. The number 1 is, in fact, the loneliest number. .

January 7, 2010

Pi Calculated to a Record Number of 2.7 Trillion Digits

Filed under: Math — Jonathan @ 9:06 am

That’s 123 billion digits more than the previous number. Computer scientist Fabrice Bellard ran his calculations on a desktop computer, taking 131 days to run the program and then check the results:

“Previous records were established using supercomputers, but Mr Bellard claims his method is 20 times more efficient.

The prior record of about 2.6 trillion digits, set in August 2009 by Daisuke Takahashi at the University of Tsukuba in Japan, took just 29 hours.

However, that work employed a supercomputer 2,000 times faster and thousands of times more expensive than the desktop Mr Bellard employed.”

More info: link

December 18, 2009

The Bronze Cube

Filed under: Artists, Math — Jonathan @ 2:51 pm

A fully functional, reproduction of a Rubik’s Cube, hand cast in white bronze. It was cast in such a way as to have even shrinkage, but an unstable and rough surface.

After being cast in bronze, and assembled, it was treated by being buried in a mixture of dirt, various acids and salts, inside of a hand made birch box designed to keep the environment moist, but also to allow some passage of air and water, for about a year.

More information: link
Related: My Rubik’s Cube solution

December 15, 2009

Crossing the bridge.

Filed under: Google Interview Questions, Math — Jonathan @ 10:51 am

Four people need to cross a rickety rope bridge to get back to their camp at night. Unfortunately, they only have one flashlight and it only has enough light left for seventeen minutes. The bridge is too dangerous to cross without a flashlight, and it’s only strong enough to support two people at any given time. Each of the campers walks at a different speed. One can cross the bridge in 1 minute, another in 2 minutes, the third in 5 minutes, and the slow poke takes 10 minutes to cross. How do the campers make it across in 17 minutes?

Solution in comments.

December 11, 2009

The Mathematics of Sharing Pizza

Filed under: Internet, Math — Jonathan @ 9:19 pm

When several hungry but cash-challenged college students chip in for a pizza, cutting it into equal and fair slices become very important. So important that mathematicians Rick Mabry and Paul Deiermann looked into the problem that emerges when the pizza cutter does not slice exactly through the center of the pie. This is known as the complete pizza theorem.

Their quest started in 1994, when Deiermann showed Mabry a revised version of the pizza problem, again published in Mathematics Magazine (vol 67, p 304). Readers were invited to prove two specific cases of the pizza theorem. First, that if a pizza is cut three times (into six slices), the person who eats the slice containing the pizza’s centre eats more. Second, that if the pizza is cut five times (making 10 slices), the opposite is true and the person who eats the centre eats less.

Only the first statement was proven. Deiermann and Mabry worked on proving the second off and on until their breakthrough in 2006. Now that they have proven the theorem, they are working on other problem, such as how to divide a calzone.

More information: link
Story taken from Neatorama

December 8, 2009

Möbius Bagel

Filed under: Internet, Math, misc. — Jonathan @ 9:59 am

George Hart is a sculptor, mathematician, and one of the best professors I had while at Stony Brook University. Never failing to amaze me, he has posted on his website step-by-step instructions for how to craft a Möbius strip from a single bagel.

“It is much more fun to put cream cheese on these bagels than on an ordinary bagel. In additional to the intellectual stimulation, you get more cream cheese, because there is slightly more surface area.”

This makes me miss seeing George every Tuesday and Thursday for algorithms!

More information: link

December 2, 2009

Wolfram|Alpha

Filed under: Internet, Math — Jonathan @ 3:40 pm

Have you ever given up working on a math problem because you couldn’t figure out the next step? Wolfram|Alpha can guide you step by step through the process of solving many mathematical problems, from solving a simple quadratic equation to taking the integral of a complex function.

This looks like it could be fun!

More information: link

October 27, 2009

Puzzles!

Filed under: Math, Updates — Jonathan @ 8:36 pm

I just put a couple of puzzles up in the content section; a number game, my Rubick’s cube solution, and a logic problem. I’ve got some cleaning up to do, but at least it’s up there to play with! Have a look and have some fun!

June 18, 2009

This just made my day:

Filed under: Math — Jonathan @ 8:33 pm

verizon
This check is for $536.49

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